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Plastic Wrap Alternatives: Edible Wraps, Glass Containers, and More

Plastic Wrap Alternatives: Edible Wraps, Glass Containers, and More

Plastic Wrap Alternatives: Edible Wraps, Glass Containers, and More

Leftovers, snacks, produce, yourself—you can practically wrap anything in cling film, just name it. That is why many people could not live without it, except Mother Nature, as we all know that plastic is Earth’s kryptonite. So, what plastic wrap alternative should you get instead?

The World Economic Forum reports that facilities only collect 14% of plastic packaging. Not all of these end up being recycled.

One of the most stubborn single-use plastics that recycling machines hate is plastic wraps, which you cannot burn because they emit too many harmful chemicals. In the end, plastic wraps’ final destination ends up being in a landfill, where they stay for at least 1,000 years before decomposing completely.

Case in point, plastic wraps are not good for the environment. Good thing, finding substitutes is easy.

Here are some alternatives you should get:

Alternative to Plastic Wrap

There are a lot of available eco-friendly substitutes for cling film in groceries. Most of them use bioplastic technology and claim to be biodegradable. But here are some DIYs and other options that are worth checking out:

Edible heat-sealable plastic wrap

Yes, you read that right. Edible plastic wrap exists, and it is easy to make at home. Check out this tutorial from Whats4Chow, inspired by revolutionary Spanish chef Farran Adria’s clear ravioli recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 20 g potato starch
  • 10 ml soy lecithin
  • 2 ml food-grade glycerine
  • 400 ml of water

What you need to do:

  1. Measure all the ingredients accordingly.
  2. Put all ingredients in a saucepan starting with water, potato starch, soy lecithin, and glycerin. Then, use a stick or spatula to mix.
  3. Transfer into a blender or use a hand-held blender to incorporate the mixture thoroughly.
  4. Cook it in medium heat until it boils. Then, lower the heat until the mixture thickens.
  5. Transfer the mixture through a sieve in another container to remove lumps and bubbles.
  6. Get a container with a flat surface (non-stick pan) and pour enough of the mixture to cover the surface.
  7. Leave to dry for at least 1-3 days.

Once dry, it will turn transparent and plastic-looking thanks to the glycerine. The edges of the wrap will separate themselves from the container, and you can easily peel it off. You can use a regular plastic sealant to seal the edges together or twist and pinch it as if you are wrapping a candy.

This edible plastic wrap is excellent for wrapping solids and oil-based liquids. Once it gets in contact with water, it will melt, so keep that in mind.

Cloth food covers

Did you know that the average American throws away 80 lbs of clothing every year? You probably have a lot of clothes in your closet that you do not use or that do not fit anymore. Please do not throw it away. You can donate it or make cloth food covers at home for your leftovers.

Here is how:

Materials:

  • Sewing machine or sewing kit
  • Scissors
  • 6mm elastic
  • Safety pin
  • Chalk
  • Old fabric from clothes

What you need to do:

  1. Measure and cut your fabric.
  2. Place two pieces of fabrics together, then pin.
  3. Measure and draw a 1 cm allowance onto the fabric and stitch along the guide you made.
  4. Do not close it all the way. Leave a small gap of at least 3 cm.
  5. Create another guide 1 cm away from the edges for the casing of the elastic.
  6. Pin one end of the elastic with a safety pin, pass it through the case, then stitch the gap to close.
  7. Cut off the seam allowance.

It may seem crafty, but it is effortless to do. You do not necessarily need a machine. Stitching this by hand can suffice. An easier way is to take your cut fabric, put it above your bowl of food, then seal it with a rubber band.

This technique is only one of the many ways you can use cloth or old textile to create a plastic wrap alternative. You can also try dipping the fabric in beeswax, and you have something similar to parchment paper.

Tinfoil

Food in Tin Foil ContainersTinfoil containers or bowls are easier to reuse, which is vital since they are encouraged to be used as many times as possible.

When it comes to cooking needs, you cannot replace tin foil with plastic wrap. But for wrapping goods, they are excellent replacements for each other.

In terms of decomposition, tin foil is more Earth-friendly as it takes only half (500 years) the time it takes for plastics to decompose. Yet, it merits more resource-intensive production, using more fuel, emitting more greenhouse gasses, and possibly contributing more to water pollution.

If you wish to go for this alternative to plastic wrap, be sure to reuse it as much as you can to lessen its environmental impacts. If not, stick to the other items on the list.

Silicon covers

Silicone lid used to cover glass bowlSilicon lids are very versatile and can cover any food container to preserve the food's integrity.

Silicon covers are the new hype of the millennia for dealing with leftovers. They are stretchable and can fit perfectly on just about any container. Plus, you can wash them, and they can come in aesthetic designs. The best part is they are reasonably cheap.

However, always check where you are getting your silicon covers from, and make sure that the manufacturer's materials are food-grade. So, if you are buying one, look for a trusted brand or find something of quality that is durable to prevent it from ending in the bin after a couple of uses.

Glass containers

Different glass containersGlass containers are one of the best alternatives to plastic wraps because they are durable, easy to clean and last long.

This list will not be complete if there is no mention of glass containers anywhere for alternatives to plastic wrap. Glass containers are simply the best and fool-proof way to replace cling films, especially for food storage.

Unlike plastic wraps, glass containers are better for the environment because they are always recyclable. They are also better for your health because they are not like plastic. Meaning, you can use it in the microwave, oven, and dishwasher without worrying about the toxic chemicals seeping into your food or the container warping and melting.

Finding what you can use for food storage instead of plastic wrap is easy. Most of the things above are already available in the market and are accessible to anyone. At the same time, some require a bit of creativity and imagination—a fun activity to do with your kids.

Expert Recommendations

Fixing the environmental impacts of plastics, like wraps, goes way beyond finding a replacement. For Mother Nature to truly heal from the dilemma, we need to reduce our need for plastic packaging and continue using the same container in its exact form. The less demand there is, the less production there will be.

In an interview with Time Magazine, Sander Deyfrut, leading the plastic innovation initiatives at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF), says, “recycling our way out of [the climate crisis] will not work.” The best way is still to “reuse, as well as plain elimination of a lot of packaging we don’t need, will also have to be a crucial part of the solution.”

Here at Wave Tribe, we do our part by reusing recyclable and sustainable materials to create our surfing gears, like our Eco Leash made from recycled plastics, surfboards made from sustainable woods, and ESPN-acclaimed surfboard bags from hemp.

There is a rising awareness towards sustainability and lifestyle effects on the health of the planet’s ecology. Finding alternatives to everyday materials like plastic wraps and plastic counterparts of gear for hobbies like surfing has become more accessible.

Reducing your plastic consumption and supporting products from recycled materials means fewer plastics in the oceans. You are helping create a healthier environment for marine life and a safe place for your fellow surfers and beach lovers.

Do not forget to join our Heal The Oceans campaign if you want to help revive our oceans.

 

More Wave Tribe Reads:

Here are More Reasons Not to Use Plastic Bags and Bottles
Sustainable Living: What Does Going Green Mean?
What Happens When You Eat Plastic: How Bad Microplastics Are For Surfers

 

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